Barclay’s Juniper Buys a $50MM CU Card Portfolio

Barclay’s Juniper Financial Corporation has purchased Oregon Community Credit Union’s $42.9 million credit portfolio, entered into an agent relationship, and jointly launched the “Oregon Community Credit Union World MasterCard”. The new card issued by Juniper provides Oregon Community Credit Union’s 87,000 members flexible rewards, no fee and the worldwide merchant acceptance of a MasterCard. Cardholders using the Oregon Community Credit Union World MasterCard earn valuable rewards on purchases everywhere MasterCard is accepted. Oregon Community Credit Union serves more than 87,000 members and currently has an asset size of $700 million. Juniper Financial Corporation, a member of Barclays Group, is a leading full-service credit card issuer headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware.

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Chase/Regal Entertainment MasterCard is Launched

The largest movie theatre operator in the world has launched the first co-branded credit card to reward movie-goers. The new “Regal Entertainment Group Platinum MasterCard,” issued by Chase, will offer a value-added reward program, and deliver “Priceless” experiences unique to REG circuits, comprised of Regal Cinemas, United Artist Theatres, Edwards Theatres and Signature Theatres across the USA. Specific details about the rewards program will be made available when the card launches in the Spring. Point of sale materials, national print advertising, direct mail, and online support will also support the launch. The deal also includes a multi-year marketing agreement making MasterCard its official payment card brand. Regal Entertainment Group operates 6,242 screens in 560 locations in 40 states.

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Cash Technologies and ClaimRemedi Expand Deal

Cash Technologies’ Heuristic Technologies division has extended its relationship with ClaimRemedi to eight years. ClaimRemedi’s software permits healthcare insurers and providers to electronically analyze these claims and rapidly identify and correct the data errors, providing dramatic reductions in processing costs. The software has been extensively tested and successfully deployed nationwide. Cash Technologies, Inc. develops and markets innovative data processing systems, including the BONUS((TM)) and MFS((TM)) financial services systems and EMMA((TM)) transaction processing software.

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NOV 04

Revolving balances, or balances accruing interest, edged near the A$20 billion level for first time during November, in a country with just 20 million residents. Based on historical data from the Reserve Bank of Australia, revolving balances will easily top that milestone for December. The latest data show that revolving balances increased to A$19,981,000 during November, up 13% from one-year ago. Gross dollar volume for purchases on credit card and charge cards in November rebounded by more than 10% from the prior month. Total outstandings for November were up A$475 million compared to October, and up nearly 12% since November 2003. During November, Australians charged A$13.0 billion in purchases on credit/charge cards compared to A$10.8 billion one-year ago. At the end of November, consumers owed A$28.6 billion on credit cards versus A$25.5 billion for November 2003. Card credit limits reached A$76.5 billion at the end of November, compared to A$68.4 billion for November 2003. There are 11.4 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 10.8 million one-year ago.

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BioPay Enters a North Carolina Food Chain

VA-based BioPay has inked a deal for Winston-Salem, NC-based Lowes Food Stores to offer biometric payments to its some customers in the Spring, with full deployment in all 108 Lowes Foods stores by the end of the year. BioPay’s biometric payment service allows people to conveniently pay for purchases with the touch of a finger. There is no cost for customers to enroll or use BioPay. Lowes Foods employs 8300 people and operates 108 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Since 1999, BioPay(R) has been providing smart, secure methods for processing financial transactions. BioPay’s payment service offers merchants a low-cost form of customer payment and gives consumers a convenient, secure and quick way to pay for purchases.

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Deluxe and PPS Team to Fight Fraud

MN-based Deluxe Financial and First Data’s Primary Payment Systems have formed a strategic alliance to introduce a new service to help financial institutions fight fraud. Deluxe Detect, powered by Early Warning, is a new relationship-screening tool that enables financial institutions to reduce fraud at the new account desk by providing identity verification and reliable risk assessment in real time. Deluxe offers a variety of checks and related products to enhance consumer satisfaction, strengthen check program security, increase revenue and improve efficiency. Primary Payment Systems, Inc., an affiliate of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), provides services that combat check, identity and new account fraud.

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Meineke and Comdata Partner for Data Logging

Meineke Car Care Centers and Comdata have implemented a data logging system designed to bring online maintenance service tracking to Meineke’s commercial fleet customers throughout the USA and Canada. Using Comdata’s “Fleet Team” online maintenance system, as vehicle services are performed and purchased, all data is captured in an online maintenance system that tracks, aggregates and reports maintenance intelligence to the fleet manager. Central billing capabilities will streamline data handling and account service, of particular benefit to large, regional and national vehicle fleet accounts. Meineke is today the second largest specialist automotive service franchise in the Americas with approximately 900 locations throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala, Venezuela, and the Caribbean. Comdata Corporation (www.comdata.com) is a leading provider of transaction and payment services.

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Late Payment Fees Hit Consumer Tolerance in 2004

Fees for making a late payment on a bank credit card are hitting the wall, peaking at $39 last year. During 2004, the increase in late payment fees slowed to its lowest level in more than a decade. Last year, the average late payment fee was $32.61, up 3.7% over 2003. Four of the nation’s top ten issuers charge a $39 late fee, while the other six charge $35. Citigroup, MBNA, Bank of America, and Providian assess the highest late payment fees of $39. Over the past five years, late payment fees have risen 20%, compared to a 104% increase between 1995 and 2000. The largest single year gain in late fees occurred during 1997, when average fees rose from $14.21 to $19.24, a 35.4% increase, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). During 2004, the most common late fee among major issuers was $35.

LATE FEE HISTORICAL
Year Average Y/Y CNHG
1994: $12.55 + 4.8%
1995: $13.25 + 5.6%
1996: $14.21 + 7.2%
1997: $19.24 +35.4%
1998: $22.10 +14.9%
1999: $25.61 +15.9%
2000: $27.10 + 5.8%
2001: $28.29 + 8.1%
2002: $30.04 + 6.2%
2003: $31.44 + 4.6%
2004: $32.61 + 3.7%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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MBNA’s Super Bowl Spot is Weak; MasterCard’s – #1

MBNA’s debut TV spot was ranked among the lowest tier of “Super Bowl XXXIX” advertisements by students of the Kellogg School of Management. The panel had significant concerns about MBNA’s advertising efforts. They thought MBNA was poorly branded. Meanwhile, the Kellogg School Review panel awarded a grade of “A” to MasterCard’s TV “Icons” spot. VISA’s ad ranked between the best and the worst. MBNA debut its first national TV commercial in the “Super Bowl.” The 30-second spot communicated the MBNA brand by emphasizing the wide range of affinity credit card products the issuer offers. The “Super Bowl” commercial kicked-off a national branding campaign, which will include print, television, radio, online, outdoor and direct marketing. The commercial and the overall brand campaign is being developed by The Helm Agency, New York. (CF Library 1/6/05)

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Indonesia to Lead Retail Sales Growth in 05

MasterCard’s “MasterIndex of Retail” for Asia/Pacific shows robust potential growth in retail sales during the first half of 2005. All 12 Asia/Pacific markets included in the forecast are predicted to see positive expansion, with Indonesia taking the lead with an anticipated 16.9% year-on-year growth in the first six months of this year. Double-digit growth is also expected from China (12.75%) and Thailand (12.3%), followed by Malaysia (8.9%), Hong Kong (8.7%) and the
Philippines (8.5%). Other Asia/Pacific markets, while less bullish, indicate positive year-on-year growth. These include Taiwan (4.8%), Australia (4%), Japan (2.3%) and Korea (1.78%).

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US Dataworks’ Fourth Quarter Revenue Rises 25%

Houston-based US Dataworks reported fourth calendar quarter revenues of $518,000 compared with revenues of $416,000 for the same period a year ago. US Dataworks is a developer of payment processing solutions, focused on the Financial Services market, Federal, State and local governments, billers and retailers. Software developed by US Dataworks is designed to enable organizations to transition from traditional paper-based payment and billing processes to electronic solutions that automate end-to-end processes for accepting and clearing checks.

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